New Mexico Ranks Second Worst-Run State


The online news source 24/7 Wall St. has ranked New Mexico as the second-worst run state in the country, scoring better than California by only a small margin.

One measure that helped put it above California was its credit rating. Standard & Poor’s rates the state AA+, and Moody’s gives it a perfect Aaa rating. The state’s debt load relative to its size was average, and its budget shortfall of 8.3 percent for going into fiscal 2012 was better than many states.

Outside of fiscal management, however, New Mexico performed poorly in several areas. The state was among the worst 10 nationwide for violent crime, high school graduation rates among adults, and health insurance coverage. More than one in five residents lived below the poverty line in 2012, worse than all states but Mississippi. Last year, state GDP grew by just 0.2 percent, worse than all but a handful of states.

New Mexico’s statistics:

  • Debt per capita: $3,914 (21st highest)
  • Budget deficit: 8.3 percent (31st largest)
  • Unemployment: 6.9 percent (tied-19th lowest)
  • Median household income: $42,558 (6th lowest)
  • Pct. below poverty line: 20.8 percent (2nd highest)

Read the full survey here.